NewsTurkey executes senior Kurdish commander in northern Iraq

Turkey executes senior Kurdish commander in northern Iraq

Turkish President Recep Tayipp Erdogan announced on Monday the assassination of the general officer of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in neighboring Syria. The senior commander of the organization, whose code name was Sofi Nurettin, was “neutralized” during Operation Claw Lightning, launched by the Ottoman Army on May 8 in northern Iraq. Turkish intelligence service and the Armed Forces, falls within the framework of the multiple air offensives and cross-border attacks directed by Turkey towards the north of Iraq to destroy the rear bases of the PKK, an organization considered a “terrorist” by Ankara. Halef El Muhammed, better known as Sofi Nurettin, was one of the leaders of the organization and one of the figures with the greatest weight within the PKK organization chart. However, his area of influence was focused on Syria and not on Iraq, where he was ultimately executed. Nurettin was “the man who designed the PKK in Syria” and directed all the organization’s operations there, according to local media. “Nurettin’s activities, both in the Kurdistan region and in Syria, confirm Turkey’s accusation that Kurdish organizations in northeastern Syria are part of the PKK, ”Erdogan said. “Sofi Nurettin’s situation (…) revealed that it is impossible to deny the fact that the PKK / KCK [the political arm of the PKK] and the PYD (Democratic Union Party) / YPG (Popular Protection Units) are the same organization. ”The Turkish president revealed the assassination of the senior PKK commander in a televised appearance after the Council of Ministers.During the statement, Erdogan accused Nurettin of being behind the execution of 13 Turkish hostages, including the military and police, during a failed operation in January to free them on Gara Mountain, located about 50 kilometers northeast of Duhok. Last April, the Turkish Armed Forces launched operations Claw Lightning and Claw Thunderbolt against the PKK also in the Duhok region, a few kilometers from the Iraqi border with Turkey. Erdogan’s priority objective is the establishment of a Turkish military base that blocks the activity of the PKK in the area and that shields Turkey from possible incursions by the organization, pursued from Ankara. The Ottoman authorities count the death of nine soldiers since the beginning operations, while the PKK claims to have lost 18 fighters. At the moment, the Kurdish organization has not commented on the assassination of its general officer in Syria, Sofi Nurettin, since the beginning of hostilities in 2015, when the two-and-a-half-year ceasefire between Turkey and the PKK was broken. , more than 5,732 people have died, including Turkish soldiers, PKK militants and civilians, according to the latest count by the International Crisis Group. The vast majority of these fatalities, some 600, occurred in the ranks of the Kurdish organization. Immersed in a situation of constant clashes and insecurity, the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has described the presence of the PKK in Sinjar as unacceptable , a town located in northeastern Iraq, and has urged the militants to leave the area.The harassment of the Turkish government of the Kurds is not only carried out outside the walls, but also takes place inside the country caused by the continuous targeting of the minority from the institutions. This explains the numerous violent episodes against the Kurdish population residing in Iraq. Turkish interference Turkey’s interference on Iraqi soil has been the subject of tensions between the two. The Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a note in early May protesting the “violations of Iraqi sovereignty” arising from the visit of Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on May 1 to a Turkish military base in the Iraqi Kurdistan accompanied by the Chief of the Turkish General Staff, General Yasar Guler, and the Commander of the Ground Forces, Umit Dundar.Turkey responded to the letter stating that it fully respected Iraqi sovereignty and territorial integrity, while underlining the importance of carrying carried out the operations as they are in line with the efforts to eradicate the PKK rebels. Experts note that Baghdad’s reaction responds to the intention of asserting the authority of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, and that it is unlikely to halt Turkey’s activities. Turkey has also launched different counterterrorism operations in northern Syria, another focus in its fight against the PKK, with the aim of preventing the formation of a corridor of terror and allowing the peaceful settlement of residents.Given the weakness of the PKK in Turkey and northern Iraq, groups linked to the Kurdish organization have chosen to focus their attacks on Turkish forces and their allies of the Syrian National Army on the large strip of territory occupied by Turkey in northern Syria, where it also transgresses in matters of sovereignty, especially in the Afrin enclave, an area with a Kurdish majority.

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